After God showed the vision of His holy building to Ezekiel, He measured His people by His building, by all the details and features; the entire Bible is a book on building, and for us to build the church we need to let Christ build Himself into us first.
It is a life-changing experience to us when we realize, under God’s light as we enjoy Him in the word and under the ministry of the age, that the entire Bible is a book of building.
What God desires to gain is a building; He gained it in the Old Testament with the tent of Abraham (where He met His seeker), the tabernacle, and the temple, and He gains it in the New Testament with the church, the house of God, and He will gain it for eternity with the New Jerusalem.
God desires to gain a building, which is nothing less than the corporate expression of God in humanity in glory. For this, He comes to work Himself into man, so that the intrinsic constitution of man would be God Himself.
No man is qualified to build the church; only Christ is the One qualified. Therefore, we need to let Christ work Himself into us day by day so that out of us would come something that is suitable for the building up of the church.
Christ is both the One who builds the church as God’s house and the element with which the church is build. Christ is both the builder of God’s house and the element of building of God’s house.
God’s house is the church as the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ is nothing else but Christ Himself wrought into His people, the church, to make them the same as He is in life and nature, so that they become His corporate expression in glory.
We need to be those who daily enjoy Christ and experience Him so that we may allow Him to work Himself into us to be our life, our nature, and our intrinsic constitution; as He works Himself into us, He in us will build the church, and He in us is the element for God’s building.
In ourselves we are just clay or wood, not suitable for God’s building, but as He transforms us from within, we become precious stones and acacia wood suitable for His building – He in us is suitable for God’s building.
The Entire Bible is a Book of Building, and Ezekiel Concludes with God’s Holy Building
If we would have a birds-eye-view of the entire Bible, we would see that it speaks of one thing: life and building, and in particular, the entire Bible is a book of building.
The main subject of the Bible – from Genesis to Revelation, in both the Old and the New Testament – is God’s building (see Gen. 28:10-22; Exo. 25:8; 2 Sam. 7:12-14a; 1 Kings 6:1-2; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:21; Rev. 21:2-3).
In the Old Testament God didn’t just call Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but He visited them, infused them, drew them, and made them His expression; God’s building is His expression.
Later on, with the people of Israel, God didn’t just deliver them from the tyranny of Pharaoh and usurpation of Egypt to bring them into the good land, but He wanted them to become His corporate expression, the reality of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was the “movable building of God”, and it is here that God’s glory descended.
Later with Solomon the temple was built, and God’s glory filled the temple. God’s glory and expression is with His building, and when God gains a building – a corporate people into whom He can enter and through whom He can be expressed – God is manifested in glory.
God’s building is not something physical – it is His people, those who cooperate with Him and let Him work in them to gain what He is after. The desire of God’s heart is His building; the goal of God’s economy is His building; the goal of the Lord’s recovery is His building.
All visions presented in the Scriptures are related to God’s building. In the book of Ezekiel we see at the beginning the vision of the appearance of the glory of the Lord, and at the end – the conclusion and consummation – is the vision of the holy building of God.
The glory of the Lord (Ezek. 1:1, 28), the judgement of God, and the recovery of the Lord are all for the holy building of God. Both the book of Ezekiel and the entire Bible have as a goal the building of God, the corporate expression of God.
Whatever God does is for this: His building. God Himself became a man, went through a long process, and became a life-giving Spirit, so that He may gain a corporate expression. The building of God is the corporate expression of the processed and consummated Triune God in glory.
This is what God is after, and this is what He will gain – as seen at the end of Ezekiel and at the end of the Bible. God will gain His glorious expression, and we need to be one with Him for His building and let Christ build Himself into us and build us up together for His corporate expression!
Lord Jesus, we are here for You to gain Your heart’s desire, Your building. May Your heart’s desire become our heart’s desire, and may what You desire to gain become our goal also. Grant us to see that the entire Bible is a book of building. May You gain a group of people on earth among whom You can dwell and be expressed, and may there be a corporate expression of the processed and consummated Triune God among the saints in all the local churches! Amen, Lord, gain Your building, Your corporate expression, with us!
We need to Let Christ Build Himself into us for the Building up of the Church
When it comes to God’s building, the church, many times we are like king David: we want to build up the church, and our heart is for God’s building.
But according to the prophecy in typology in 2 Sam. 7:12-14, the One who both builds the church as God’s house and the element with which the church is built is Christ Himself.
Out of our good heart for the Lord and desire to work for Him, we may think that we are qualified to build up the church and do something for Him; however, we need to realize that only God is the One who is building the church with Christ as the unique element.
Christ clearly said, I will build My church (Matt. 16:18); this is “My church” – it’s not our church, but the Lord’s church, so only He Himself knows what the church is and how to build it.
Just as the Lord told David, He would also tell us all, Are you sure about YOU building MY HOUSE? What is the material you want to build My house with? – this exposes us, for we realize that the unique material for God’s building is Christ Himself.
And if Christ is the unique material, we are so short of Christ! We may have Christ in knowledge or in name, but how much do we have of Christ wrought into our being and built up into our being? We need the real Christ, Christ as the Spirit in resurrection, to work Himself into us and build Himself into our being.
Teaching the Bible and knowing to expound the word is not the way to build up the church; the church is not built up with the knowledge of the Bible, but with Christ as the unique element.
In order to build the church we need to minister Christ to others, and the Christ we can minister to others has to be wrought into us and built into our being.
Do we merely speak doctrine and high truths concerning God, His economy, and His purpose to others, or do we minister the real Christ, the genuine Christ, the reality of the Spirit in resurrection? Oh Lord Jesus, how short we are of Christ in our being and in our experience! Our need is to let Christ build Himself into us for the building up of the church.
We need to let Christ be wrought into our being – we need more of Him constituted into us. This is what God told David: It is not YOU who will build Me a house, but I will build you a house, and what comes out of you will build up My house.
We need God to build up Christ into our intrinsic constitution so that our entire being will be reconstituted with Christ. The result is not only that we’re changed but that we are transformed from one kind of person to another.
God doesn’t need us to DO something for Him or to build His house; He wants to build Himself into us and reconstitute us inwardly, so that we may be transformed into a different person, one that is suitable for God’s building.
God’s economy is to work Himself into us in Christ as His embodiment; our responsibility is to let God work Christ as the Spirit into every part of our being, until we can declare, To me, to live is Christ! and, I am crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me! (see Phil. 1:21; Gal. 2:20).
Christ is the house, His Body, and Christ is also the builder, the Body of Christ (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 12:12; 2 Sam. 7:12-13). Christ builds the church by building Himself into us, that is, by first entering into our spirit, and then spreading Himself from our spirit into our mind, emotion, and will to occupy our entire soul (Eph. 3:17).
This is the central work of God, the building work of God, and this is the way He builds the church. We need to let Christ build Himself into us, and we need to minister the building God and the build God, that is, minister the God in Christ who is actively building the church.
We minister the builded God by imparting to others the God in Christ who has been wrought into our being. This building – a mingling of God’s divinity with our redeemed, resurrected, and uplifted humanity, becomes God’s habitation and our habitation – a mutual abode (John 14:23; 15:4).
Eventually, this building will consummate in the New Jerusalem for eternity, in which God’s redeemed are the tabernacle for God to dwell in, and God Himself is the temple for His redeemed to dwell in (see Rev. 21:3, 22).
Lord, forgive us – we are so short of You! We need You to be wrought into us. We need more of You constituted into our being. We want to let You build Yourself into us and reconstitute us with God so that we may be transformed and be suitable for God’s building. May God in Christ as the Spirit be wrought into us, built into us, and constituted into our inner being so that we may have Christ live in us in our daily living. Lord, we are nothing, we have nothing, and we can do nothing; we need Christ to be wrought into our being for God’s building!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ron Kangas for this week, and portions from, Life-study of 1 & 2 Samuel, msg. 24 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-study of Ezekiel (2), msg. 8 (week 20 in the HWMR), Being Measured by God’s Building.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Lord, Your purpose and Your heart’s desire / Is to build Your church, Your temple. / For this purpose You created man / As a vessel to contain You. / You were processed as the Spirit / Now You’re working in our being. / To Your image You’re conforming us. / Lord, Your work is glorious. (Song on the central work of God)
# Hasten, Lord, Thy work upon us / To restore and build us now. / For this work we give ourselves, Lord; / Here to Thee we make a vow: / “Though our strength is weak and feeble, / Yet our hearts would ever be / From this day, Lord, for Thy building, / Now and for eternity. (Hymns #1253)
# Within those whom You’d call / Put such a restless caring / For building to give all— / These times are for preparing; / The gates of hell cannot prevail / Against the builded Church! / The hours are few, the builders too— / Lord, build, O build in us! (Hymns #1248)
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